Questions tagged [science]

For questions about the fictitious in-universe science found in works of speculative fiction. DO NOT USE for questions purely concerning real-world science as they are off-topic.

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Teaching alien race about scientific method and religion [duplicate]

I read a short-story/novella/novel 10 years ago, about a (scientist/astronaut) who crash(?)-landed on an unknown planet. He soon discovers these short and fearsome aliens with pointy teeth. He figures ...
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16 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there a real substance called "bismullah"?

In a science fiction story "Schedule" by Harry Walton, June, 1945, Earthmen trade for a substance callled "bismullah", mined on Rhea, a moon of Saturn. And I assumed that that ...
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-5 votes
1 answer
362 views

Has Batman addressed the hazard of lead exposure while wearing lead in his armor?

Batman is sometimes seen to wear lead lining in his costume, for example in Superman/Batman Annual 1 or Superman/Batman #9, as well as other occasions as detailed here. In DC canon, lead poisoning ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are clinical trials done in the Star Trek universe?

It's a very common trope in the Star Trek universe for treatments to the disease du jour to be developed and rolled out very rapidly. Many, if not most, of the main characters or even most of an ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did James Blish just make up a bunch of scientific disciplines?

In A Case of Conscience appears this quote: “You should see what they can do with mixed disciplines—scholia like histochemistry, immunodynamics, biophysics, terataxonomy, osmotic genetics, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
52 views

Book where kids get powers and the girl goes crazy and gets electrocuted

I got this book from my middle school library in like 7-8th grade so it’s probably for younger kids. The plotline was that a group of kids gain powers (I don’t remember how); I think the powers have ...
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4 votes
0 answers
119 views

Sci fiction / fantasy novel about a teenager with telekinesis but couldn't control it not until a mysterious young man taught him

The novel is more of a teen sci-fi book. I can't remember the author, but it's somewhere along the line of Anthony Horowitz. It's a paper back series novel. I read it in my high school's library ...
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4 votes
0 answers
91 views

How fast is a moth?

I am currently re-re-watching Lexx season 4 episode 2, and it seems like the moth is extraordinarily fast. It passes a shuttle, and seems to arrive on Earth in a matter of hours. My understanding is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
92 views

Mid-century novel read in elementary school, about a woman with coloured skin and her guardian on a distant planet [duplicate]

Any help with this would be much appreciated, as it's been slowly driving me insane. In elementary school (c. mid 90s), the entire class read a sci-fi novel about a girl with coloured-skin (green or ...
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  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

Story set on a planet/sun moving through our solar system with alien life experiencing many generations for a human generation [duplicate]

I'm trying to find a story set on a planet/sun moving through our solar system with alien life experiencing many generations for a human generation. I recently found a reference to it online but I ...
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  • 153
56 votes
8 answers
11k views

Are there any (natural) scientists in Middle-earth?

Put simply: by scientists, I mean a people whose job is to examine the world around them. I know that a lot of characters even from LOTR are well educated and they used to study old books etc. But I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

What avenues of science are left to explore for a scientist in the Star Wars galaxy? [closed]

I know this question may be considered too broad, but I legitimately wonder what science scientists are working on in Star Wars. Many many people have said that there is no scientific progression in ...
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9 votes
1 answer
186 views

Documentary: Scientist holding guns gets shot from self version in a portal and marble balls animation demonstrating gravity?

I saw a documentary or movie about a long time ago (8-10 years ago), where it delved into the to sort of moral or hypothetical situation about space-time or something about that. EDIT: (Most likely of ...
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  • 193
-3 votes
3 answers
579 views

What does the term 'serum' refer to in science fiction stories? [closed]

Most definitions say that it is a component of blood that has been in a centrifuge, but I haven't seen any definitions that is associated with sci-fi. I often came across this word when people talk ...
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11 votes
0 answers
227 views

Television episode about scientists discovering the Grand Unification Theory, as each one discovers it they begin to vanish

I'm still trying to find another sci-fi show/series/episode - it has similarities to the one Twilight Zone with the downed WWII aircraft. But in this one, a bunch of scientists stumble onto ideas that ...
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  • 211
1 vote
2 answers
432 views

How many calories does the Human Torch burn?

I mean the guy has to burn a lot of calories, literally. So how many calories does he need to take in, to engulf himself in flames for at least an hour? Assumption(?) for this question: he does draw ...
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  • 290
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Transporter Displacement [duplicate]

I'm aware of the "Heisenberg compensator" plot device to explain how transporters get around the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. However, it occurs to me that there is an even more basic (i.e., in ...
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1 vote
0 answers
213 views

What were the power sources of the rings from Captain Planet?

Captain Planet's 'Planeteers' each have a powerful ring. What is the source of their power and does the use of this power itself cause pollution (e.g. is their use a ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
333 views

The slide rule in the science fiction [closed]

Inspired by this cover of (a particular case of the more general phenomenon of "Futuristic" Worlds Where Everybody Uses Obsolete Technology) I will ask: How popular is the slide rule in the science ...
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3 votes
1 answer
614 views

Star Trek Discovery (Episode 9) Klingon Cloaking Device Explanation [closed]

Not sure if this is a question for SciFi SX or Physics SX. In Star Trek Discovery (Season 1 Episode 9) the USS Discovery (aka good guys) are in war with the Klingons (bad guys). The bad guys have ...
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  • 501
4 votes
2 answers
438 views

Why do the Starfleet vessels always get cold so quickly when the power goes out? [closed]

The ISS is mostly concerned with expelling heat. So if the power went out the instruments would stop giving off heat but the bodies should produce quite a lot and if the ship is only losing heat by ...
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5 votes
1 answer
749 views

Is there any evidence of relativity in the Star Wars universe?

In the comments on How is age kept track of in the Star Wars universe? we started discussing the relevance of relativity in the star wars universe. Is there any evidence in Canon or Legends of any ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

In Flowers for Algernon was Charley actually less intelligent than he was before the procedure?

We note that Algernon, the mouse, died and that seems to indicate that the procedure not only wore off but had some severe after-effects. Charley Gordon did not die but was it suggested that he was ...
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29 votes
3 answers
5k views

Explanation of this quote "it took man six thousand years really to discover science"?

The quote is from Theodore Sturgeon's "Microcosmic God", 1941, and in full is: It took man six thousand years really to discover science, three hundred to put it to work. It took Kidder's creatures ...
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2 votes
3 answers
582 views

What radiation is present in Star Trek TNG The Drumhead?

In Star Trek: TNG Episode "The Drumhead" (4x21) there was a breach in the dilithium chamber that caused a radiation leak that caused them to have isolation doors drop and prevent the crew access to ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the units of mass and the standards of comparison in Westeros?

In Game of Thrones S07E01, someone weighs a body part (not being specific to avoid spoilers)-- and finds that it weighs 147 (or something). It always bothers me when people specify unit-less ...
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  • 1,611
3 votes
1 answer
463 views

Why couldn't Morpheus have used the emp at the end of The Matrix while Neo was still in the Matrix if it doesn't fry their own tech anyway?

As shown at the beginning of the movie, using the EMP doesn't damage anything in the ship, so why did they have to wait until Neo was out of the Matrix to use it ? Even if it only damages online ...
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  • 51
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did they get away from the tsunami if there were 45 minutes before the next slide?

In Sliders season 1, episode 6 "Summer of Love", at the end of the episode they slide onto a world and Q-Ball (Quinn Mallory) says the next slide is in 45 minutes. Then they hear a rumbling and they ...
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1 vote
2 answers
552 views

Is bacta a substitute for Nanomedicine in the Star Wars universe?

No mention is ever made of nanomedicine in Star Wars canon. Is it because bacta can accomplish what nanomedicine can accomplish or could the two exist as different procedures?
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1 vote
0 answers
142 views

Is there any example of gene therapy in the Star Wars canon?

I tried researching it, but sometimes Wookieepedia is incomplete and I haven't read all the literature. It was used in Legends, but was gene therapy used in the new canon?
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8 votes
1 answer
581 views

Is there any scientific basis behind the "Big Mistake" theory in Hyperion? [closed]

The Big Mistake of the Hyperion books says: The "Big Mistake" was a cataclysmic event thought to have destroyed Old Earth, having been brought about when a team of physicists in Kiev created an ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is a sonic screwdriver possible? [closed]

Keeping it simple, is it possible to use sonic waves to apply rotary force to an object? And, if so, would it be possible to provide enough power to it via conventional battery tech?
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-1 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it possible for Supergirl to have sex or offspring?

Can Supergirl have sex and have children? Strange question but worth asking.
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-3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Where did the apes find another Icarus spaceship from to return to earth?

Where did the apes find another Icarus spaceship from to return to earth ? & How did they have the knowledge to pilot it.
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  • 209
11 votes
3 answers
253 views

Why couldn't the crew of the Phoenix use known pulsars to determine their position?

In C J Cherryh's novel Visitor (17th novel in the Foreigner series), it's revealed that: In real life, we made a point of engraving the solar system relative vectors of known pulsars on the Pioneer ...
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  • 5,026
6 votes
1 answer
200 views

Echo Death, obscure novel from 1972?

Can anyone help to find the exact title and author of a novel I read in 1972? It was checked out of a library, and I believe it was a new release at the time, though I may be wrong about that. I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
328 views

Economics of the Empire

The Empire seems very similar in a lot of ways to Nazi Germany, which only survived because it was able to plunder resources from its neighbors, but the Empire was basically the only real force in the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where does light come from in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Disclaimer: I haven't read the book yet, but am really curious about this, but am trying to avoid spoilers that give away the whole story. I'm trying to get just an answer to this question without ...
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11 votes
5 answers
681 views

What was the first story where a universal constant had a different value?

In some stories, the value of a universal constant is different than it is reality. For example, in Going Postal: 'Something like that, sir, probably, something like that,' said Groat. 'Three and ...
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56 votes
2 answers
10k views

Potatoes were alive and sprouted on Mars: How were they preserved on the journey there?

Please note: The biology related aspects of this question are posted here. In "The Martian" (2015), the protagonist grows potatoes on Mars. We see him using seemingly fresh potatoes as his seeds. ...
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  • 5,409
38 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the Magic School Bus actually magic?

Is The Magic School Bus, of the The Magic School Bus franchise, actually magic? On one hand, it's called magic and does many things that science probably can't achieve. On the other hand, it is only ...
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10 votes
1 answer
943 views

When did zombies become "infected" rather than corpses raised from hell?

I am curious as to the evolution of the zombie concept. In old horror movies from the 60s and into the 80s, zombies were depicted as "true" undead beings; people who have died and been inhumed, and ...
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11 votes
4 answers
2k views

What was the first story describing realistic zero-g during space flight?

Newton's law of universal gravitation has been known since 1686 and it states that gravity is proportional to inverse square of the distance, but never fades to 0. This led to stories where various ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

X-Files - Waxman-Geshwind

In season 4 / episode 23 Mulder and Scully talk about the Waxman-Geshwind Syndrome. Sometimes Syndromes and/or Phenomenons that are part of the episode, exists in reality. Does Waxman-Geschwind ...
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  • 443
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How much G-Force do people transported by the Flash experience?

How much is estimated g-force experienced by people grabbed and moved by Flash, and many times does it exceed fatal dose of (around) 65g? Why don't these people die because if the G-force?
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How does ash cool the planet?

It said that the Lord Ruler moved the planet too close to the Sun and it became too hot. So he kicked the ashmounts awake and let the ash cover the atmosphere and cool the planet down to a habitable ...
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  • 787
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which Bone is Leela Missing?

In Season 8, Episode 9 of Futurama, called "Fry Am the Egg Man", Leela says that she has 205 bones in her body. A normal human has 206 (at adulthood), so what bone is Leela missing?
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  • 541
6 votes
2 answers
881 views

Inconsistent science in Planet of the Apes

In the original Planet of the Apes, the reason for their travel forward in time is their near light speed travel, which causes time to move slower for them. This is scientifically accurate, allows ...
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  • 556
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

Could the ocean really evaporate due to nuclear war, as shown in Mad Max: Fury Road? [closed]

In Mad Max: Fury Road, it's strongly implied that the Pacific Ocean has evaporated (or almost entirely evaporated), and is now just "the Great Salt." In particular, Max says that riding across the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
98 views

How does light from the Starkiller reach Leia? [duplicate]

OK, the StarKiller base in Episode 7 found a way to send energy from a star millions of light years away at warp speed. Obviously. However visible light doesn't travel faster than light speed. Right?...
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